How Kumon Works

The Kumon Method is an individualised learning system that uses Mathematics and Languages as a platform to develop the fullest potential of each individual child. By letting them progress at their own pace and advance to an advanced level, Kumon students will be able to develop Life Skills (click here for a discussion about Life Skills)

Based on 50 years of experience and research and the wisdom laid down by the late Mr Toru Kumon, there are 3 basic principles to be found in Kumon studies:

1. Individualised Learning

2. Self-Learning

3. Advance Learning

Individualised Learning allows each child to study according to his/her abilities (regardless of age) and progress at his/her own pace.

  • Individualised learning is NOT one-to-one learning with a teacher. Rather, it is when your child can studying on his/her own without needing to be constantly taught or supervised.

  • There are no group classes in Kumon. Everyone does their own work at their own pace.

  • Your child is never “left behind”. He/she is always studying at the “Just Right level” and aiming to advance beyond school grade level.

  • MASTERY is always the goal. This is usually measured by SPEED and ACCURACY.

  • Your child always feels a sense of achievement. When he/she progresses to the next level, he/she knows she is working towards achieving his/her goals.

  • Your child build confidence and independence. He/she is always encouraged to have the feeling of “I DID IT!”.

Self-Learning nurtures independence and confidence in children. To learn this, children need:

  • The freedom to learn and progress at their own pace. We must be careful not to micro-manage your child’s learning process too much because it will have the opposite effect.

  • A syllabus that allows them to self-study effectively. Kumon worksheets are carefully structured in a logical sequence and progress in small steps. So your child can progress to new topics smoothly and learn on his own, with the help of hints and examples in the worksheets.

  • Appropriate guidance and encouragement from adults. The Instructor and parents must closely observe your child’s studies and offer the appropriate support or correction as needed.

  • It takes time for children to develop this skill. Your child may still need supervision in the early stages of Kumon study. Your patience and active involvement is highly valuable during this period.

The proof of self-learning is when students can study materials that are above their school-grade level on their own.

Advanced Students are those who are studying at least 6 months ahead of their school grade level. Kumon wants every student to become Advanced Students because of the many benefits that long-term advanced study brings. For instance,

  • It develops a child’s potential outside the boundaries of school

  • It builds confidence, study skills and perseverance.

  • It develops a strong capacity for self-learning which can be applied to many pursuits in life.

“The essence of the Kumon Method can be considered as allowing students to advance through self-study. Getting children to recognize that they can advance without being taught is the most important thing at Kumon” – Mr Toru Kumon


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